For a lovely Labor Day weekend of cleaning, unpacking, and catching up on work.
The fabulous Miriam Posner posted a great piece on her blog today that’s made the rounds on the Twitterverse. She gives a really useful breakdown of digital humanities projects and the tools you need to know to get started. In some cases Miriam also gives alternatives, which are particularly helpful if you’re interested in something like mapping and need to filter through the potential technologies available.
I’ve spent part of today procrastinating from packing boxes by reading through Darius Kazemi’s latest project, Scenes from The Wire. It’s a kind of meditation on fandom and meme generation; basically, Darius created a bot that grabs random scenes from seasons 1 and 2 of The Wire, puts in subtitles, and makes animated gifs from the results. I’ve followed Darius’s work for awhile now (his ClickBait project is a devastatingly funny take-down of the awfulness that is, well, click-bait) but I’m particularly fond of this project.
(In all seriousness, though, the ECDS folks have been fabulous so far, and we’re really looking forward to being a part of that space. Thanks, ECDS!)
Currently reading: Lori Emerson’s “From the Philosophy of the Open to the Ideology of the User-Friendly”
Add to the list of things I’m catching up on: Lori Emerson’s excellent piece “From the Philosophy of the Open to the Ideology of the User-Friendly.”
“…What concerns me is that ‘user-friendly’ now takes the shape of keeping users steadfastly unaware and uninformed about how their computers, their reading/writing interfaces, work let alone how they shape and determine their access to knowledge and their ability to produce knowledge. As Wendy Chun points out, the user-friendly system is one in which users are, on the one hand, given the ability to ‘map, to zoom in and out, to manipulate, and to act’ but the result is a ‘seemingly sovereign individual’ who is mostly a devoted consumer of ready-made software and ready-made information whose framing and underlying mechanisms we are not privy to.”
I found myself re-reading Ithaka’s “Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Historians” today. I started the bulk of my research about a year ago, and the anxiety that surrounds the research process is still fresh. How will I organize these materials? What if I’m using a mixed-methods approach? What are the best strategies for searching digital databases–will a simple keyword do?
I find the report really useful because it offers a variety of suggestions for history (and really, humanities) faculty, graduate students, librarians, archivists, scholarly societies, and funding agencies. And what better way to kick off the new semester than with a little reading about citation management and best practices for organizing research notes?
(Full disclosure: I was interviewed for this report. But it’s worth a look for anyone who’s interested in digital research practices!)
I’m very happy to officially announce that I’ll be the assistant managing editor for Emory’s digital, peer-reviewed journal Southern Spaces starting this fall semester. I’ve been with the journal for a few years now–short a year-long fieldwork hiatus–and am thrilled to be back.
We have some exciting developments in the works this year. Emory has joined the Library Publishing Coalition, a consortium of over 50 university libraries who are interested in how to “better serve the scholarly communication needs of the academic community, through sustainable, innovative library publishing solutions aligned with institutional missions.” We’re looking forward to working with the LPC and learning more about the exciting initiatives going on at other institutions. (If you want to know more about their work, check out the Library Publication Toolkit, a *free* publication from the IDS Project Press.)
2014 will also mark a decade of Southern Spaces. It’s an exciting time to be on staff! (Here’s hoping for party hats.)
Eating Alabama, a documentary by my former film professor Andy Grace, is likely making an appearance on a PBS station near you. Check it out!